Tag Archives: Madeleine Mignon-Alba

Henry Clive’s ‘face’ of Ireland in 1921

The image above was created by graphic artist Henry Clive. It appeared on the program cover of a June 1921 Pittsburgh benefit event for the American Committee for the Relief of Ireland.

Clive was born Henry Clive O’Hara in 1881, in Australia, to an Irish father and an English mother, according to the Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists. He began his career in theater, then gradually transitioned to full-time work as an illustrator. In 1925–four years after this image appeared on the Pittsburgh program cover–Clive joined The American Weekly,  a Sunday magazine supplement of the Hearst newspaper syndicate. He died in 1960.

Many of Clive’s illustrations are available in online galleries, and its easy to see the stylistic similarities to the image above. The event program, part of the John B. Collins Papers at the University of Pittsburgh, does not contain details about his commission for this work.

Did the American Committee for the Relief of Ireland commission the work for other publications? Is the young woman the “Dark Rosaleen” of James Clarence Mangan’s 19th century nationalist poem? Was Clive influenced by the women featured in the 1913 first color photographs from Ireland, produced by Madeleine Mignon-Alba and Marguerite Mespoulet?

Does anyone know more about this image?

100th anniversary of first color photos of Ireland

In May and June 1913, two French women arrived in Ireland to capture what are still believed to be the first color images of the country. Madeleine Mignon-Alba and Marguerite Mespoulet were part of a project called “The Archives of the Planet,” inspired and financed by French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn. He wanted to create a “photographic inventory of the surface of the earth as it was occupied and organized by Man at the beginning of the 20th century.”

This story from Irish Central includes a slide show of the images.

bog flowers

“When Ireland is not a brilliant emerald land, sparkling and fresh, it is a dark country of brown bogs on which the heavy grey sky leans,” Mespoulet wrote in her travel journal. “But in May and June, the bog flowers; the gorse and the white flowers of the marsh open and turn the bog into a festive place.”